For some west Montgomerians, politics is seen as an exclusionary game


City Council District 4 candidates Montgomery Advertiser

In west Montgomery, trust in politics is low.

Candidates, advocates and politically active citizens alike in District 4 have all called for a renewed responsibility in politics as one of Montgomery’s most disadvantaged districts heads to the polls on Oct. 9. Residents will have a chance to pick a new leader in a runoff between two political newcomers — Audrey Graham and Quartez Harris — and fill a role that has been empty since Sen. David Burkette vacated the seat in May to join the Legislature.

Kynesha Brown, coordinator for Rolling to the Polls Voting initiative, said they have encountered voters who are extremely apathetic toward the political process.

“They don’t really have a voice or representation when it comes to the council,” she said.

Those frustrations were apparent in August at a council meeting before the election. The council was set to vote on several routine matters, including the approval the city’s budget and liquor licenses in the district. Candidate Ja’Mel Brown and other outspoken residents from the area decried the fact that they had gone months without a sitting council member and criticized the council for conducting crucial votes.

The harshness of their protestations was justified, they said, because District 4 is already overlooked by the city, even when there was a council member.

That’s a common thread, Brown said. Blight issues, trash in the streets, abandoned homes, they all are taking a toll on the trust that residents have in the city, she said.

“They have…

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